Community reacts to Kimberly and Beck firing: ‘Local equivalent to having their knee on my neck’

Local News

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Radio hosts Kimberly and Beck have been fired from Radio 95.1. iHeartRadio officials announced the news early Wednesday morning. This comes after racist comments made by the duo on Tuesday’s show regarding the protests on Saturday.

On Tuesday’s show, Kimberly was talking about the beating of a Rochester business woman on Saturday night and used a racial slur to describe the black men involved.

Many community members expressed outrage on social media after hearing the comments made on air. Some are saying the firing is a good step but the momentum must continue.

“The comments are deplorable, insensitive, and detrimental to our community,” said Rochester Association of Black Journalists member, Rashad Smith. He adds that the fight doesn’t stop at firing them.

“Understanding the duo’s track record of offending diverse groups and individuals, there is something to be said for organizations that might even consider hiring them.”

Professor of journalism at SUNY Brockport, Carvin Eison said he is calling for a deeper look into hiring practices. He said when searching for replacement personalities, the company shouldn’t hire people with same values as Kimberly and Beck.

“In a way they’re a local equivalent, in my opinion with what they do on the air, as having their knee on my neck because they’re able to get away with these things and say these things with impunity, make money, laugh, ‘it’s not that important,’ disarming. ‘It’s not that important,’ but this time it is,” said Eison.

DJ Reign is a radio personality at WDKX. She said this is what white privilege looks like and that Kimberly and Beck knew what they were doing. Reign said she asks white people to use their privilege to stand up against racism.

“When you use your privilege to put people down, this is where we go with the systemic racism. We need you as an ally and if you feel it’s wrong, because a lot of times people think it’s wrong but they don’t say anything they just stay silent, you have to say something,” said Reign.

Kimberly and Beck have a history of making racist comments on air. Back in March, they made racist references when talking about COVID-19. The pair was also fired from their previous station back in 2014 for “hateful remarks against the transgender community.”

News 8 reached out to Kimberly and Beck and has not heard back.

The president of the iHeart Media upstate New York group, Bob Morgan, said this in a statement:

We made the decision to terminate Kimberly and Beck yesterday as soon as we learned of their comments and informed them early this morning. We will not tolerate this kind of behavior, which is antithetical to our core values and beliefs and to our commitment to our community and everyone in it.

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